I confess that as I sat in Church yesterday, listening to the Beatitudes being read, at first, I had a deep sense of sadness come over me. I sense that sadness was because for those of us who believe in Jesus, the message was quite clear and yet, I’m not sure we’ve accepted the invitation and the challenge to live like the people we say we are.
Then, I reflected on this a bit more and realize that the vast majority of people in my life, are socially conscious and are tremendous supporters of the very people Jesus talks about. Then I also acknowledged, on an even deeper level, that I must “live in my own truth” and be the person I say I am. I must strive to be in right relationship, with God and with others. I really do think, that when you unwrap the beatitudes, it is about right relationship…with God and with others. All major religions and spiritual walks speak of love of a Divinity and loving kindness and compassion toward others. And the hope of this reading is that God (or whomever you call the Divine) has given us a lifetime to “get it right”!
Maybe each day in the coming week, you might want to take ONE line of the beatitudes and honestly assess how you are doing in your relationships with those Jesus speaks of.
So, let’s take a look briefly:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Who has God placed in my life that reflect being “poor of spirit”?
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Who needs to be comforted? Who am I ignoring”?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “What am I doing to value the earth’s role in the cosmos and all of creation”?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Am I reaching out to those who hunger, to those who thirst’?
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Do my words reflect mercy, do my actions live what I say I believe”?
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “I long to see God, but is my heart pure enough”?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Am I a peacemaker? And being a peacemaker doesn’t mean I don’t stand in my truth and live in right relationship…it is not simply being compliant. It is uniquely wrapped up with what it means to be children of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Am I truly assisting those who are persecuted or am I doing the persecuting in my own words and actions”?
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “Been there, done that and got the T shirt” as the saying goes. Yes, when you try to be in right relationship, no matter how much you try, there will always be those who utter unkind words. I know and I’ve experienced it. I’m sure you have as well. But at the end of the day or at the end of one’s life, where will our reward be?” If the only positive thing that can be said about me is that “I tried”…then that is enough. May I never stop trying to live my “mission as a beatitude person”.
With all our foibles and imperfections, we must remember that if we try to be beatitude people, the outside will eventually match the inside….and we will become beatitude people. And so, as we strive to live and be hope this week, may we be beatitude people. May we be in right relationship. May we be about becoming who we say we are!